Sunday, December 12, 2021
A Mid-December Sunday Salon: December 12, 2021
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Nonfiction November: It's a Wrap!
I would be hard-pressed to select a favorite from this group. So, let me say that Taste was my favorite memoir, Book Love the best graphic work, How the Word is Passed my favorite history, and These Precious Days my favorite essay collection. I don't think I've ever read so many great books in a single month.
Thanks, once again, to all five of our hosts. I'm already looking forward to next year!
Sunday, December 5, 2021
The Sunday Salon: And Now It's December
Hello and Happy Sunday... hard to believe we've moved on to December, isn't it? I missed checking in last weekend. After Twin A and her new boyfriend (a great guy!) left on Sunday, I collapsed on the couch for the rest of the day. Thanksgiving week was wonderful, but exhausting! The festive activities continued into Monday with a birthday party for my sister-in-law and, on Tuesday, we celebrated our 36th anniversary. By the time December rolled around on Wednesday, I was more than ready for a quiet couple of days.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Nonfiction November Week #5: New to My TBR
It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!
A few more for the wish list:
Saturday, November 20, 2021
A Pre-Thanksgiving Sunday Salon
Happy Saturday, friends. My Sunday Salon post is coming to you a day early this week... partly because I don't have a lot to report, but also because our Thanksgiving holiday will begin this evening when Twin A and her boyfriend (we're meeting him for the first time!) fly in from NYC. They'll be here for a week, so I don't expect there will be much reading or blogging during that time.
I learned about this book through several Nonfiction November posts and borrowed both the print and audio editions from my library. Smith has a unique way of presenting this history. It reads almost like a travelogue as he visits landmarks and monuments (just in the south so far, but NYC is an upcoming chapter), beginning with Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Plantation. An engrossing read so far...
These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett is a long-time favorite author and I was thrilled get a print copy of her new book from the library today... and a little surprised, too, since the book doesn't release until Tuesday! I'm also planning to use an audible credit for the audio, especially since Patchett reads it herself. Her last essay collection, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, was a favorite when I listened in 2014.
On the blog//
Book Brief: Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
In the kitchen//
It's been a while since I shared a new recipe, but I really liked this Miso-Butter Pasta With Butternut Squash from the New York Times. I followed the recipe as written except I used the red miso I had on hand instead of white and omitted the red-pepper flakes. I've since learned that red miso has a stronger flavor than white and I think the white would have produced a more subtle dish. I will use white next time, but this was still a satisfying fall dish. The recipe may be behind the Times paywall, so let me know if you'd like me to copy and email it to you.
Of course, the kitchen will be humming with Thanksgiving prep this week. There will only be 6 or 7 of us this year (compared with 20-30 when we lived in NY) but we are so happy to be able to gather again.
From the cameral roll//
This yellow-crowned night heron dropped in during our dinner at the marina Friday night, much to the delight of all!
How was your week? What have you been reading lately?
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Book Brief: Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
Oh, how I loved this book! It is Strout's third venture into the word of Lucy Barton. Beginning with My Name is Lucy Barton, Strout moved on to Anything is Possible, a book of short stories featuring characters introduced in the first book, plus more about Lucy. This new novel, set decades later, is about Lucy's first husband William, their relationship, and Lucy's reflections on life itself.
Elizabeth Strout has long been one of my favorite authors and, with each novel she writes, I am reminded of all the reasons why. I am struck time and again by her insights into the human condition. Oh William! is a quiet, character-driven novel filled with simple but profound statements about life and what it means to be human.
This was a read/listen combination for me. Once again, my library came through with both the ebook and audiobook at the same time. The audio is brilliantly performed by Kimberly Farr and is 7 hours long. (I listened at a slightly faster speed.)
The novel could work as a stand-alone, but I think the experience is richer if you already know and understand Lucy. I didn't remember much about William from previous books, but that didn't seem to matter. I got to know him well here.
My daughter recently attended an in-person literary event with Elizabeth Strout in NYC. She told the fully-vaccinated, masked crowd that she has her next two novels planned. The first is even nearing completion, but she gave no hints as to the subject matter. I think this is wonderful news and am already looking forward to another Strout novel.
Sunday, November 14, 2021
The Sunday Salon: November 14, 2021
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Nonfiction November Week #2: Book Pairings
Nonfiction November is now in its second week. Our host this week is Katie at Doing Dewey (be sure to visit her for links to participant's posts) and the topic is book pairings.
This is my kind of narrative nonfiction! It strikes just the right balance between hard history and human interest. Mundy's research is thorough, her writing is great and I learned about something completely new. I wasn't at all familiar with this fascinating story of women recruited from colleges (primarily the Seven Sisters) and trained by the government to break codes during WWII.